Friday, August 16, 2013

Take the long way...

        Today was the annual “welcome back to school” meeting for all district staff. For me, about a 30 minute drive from home to the administration campus. My blog followers may recall that I like to ride to and from work without the radio on in order to reflect on my day. I knew I had to introduce new staff and thank people who had been working hard all summer to get the buildings ready, but other than that I really didn’t have anything else planned to say. Short and sweet.

As I pulled into the parking lot filled with cars, my first realization of the year came to mind:
It may be time to update my vehicle. Pretty sure every car there was newer than my 2001 model with manual crank windows and standard shift transmission.

Moments later, as I stood in front of the entire district staff and looked out over all of the familiar faces, realization #2 came to mind:
A lot of my inspiration and motivation for my job comes from them. The people I work with.

When I stay in my office too long, it is easy to forget the real purpose of my job. Then the stress gets to me and it is easy to get frustrated.  To remedy that problem, I step out of my office. It doesn’t matter if I go left, right, down, or up, I know that in just a few short steps, I can watch great teachers light the fires of little minds and watch little children inspire adults.                                                                             Magic.

So I made a recommendation to my staff. To all of the staff. Take the long way back this year, like I will.

If you are a teacher and you drop your students off to the specials teacher, don’t be in a hurry to get back to your classroom. Take the long way back. Briefly step into another grade level classroom and watch the magic happen. Walk out with inspiration and new found purpose.  Find yourself with 30 minutes of planning time? Push yourself away from your desk 5 minutes early. Take a long walk to the other end of the hallway. Step into another classroom and sit down beside a student. Get eye level with them. Ask them what they are learning. Ask them how their day is going.  Breathe in the magic.

Take the long way.